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Dudley Lee v Minister of Correctional Services: A Roadmap to Some Weak Links in the South African Custodial Chain

Chesne Albertus


On on December 2012 the majority of the South African Constitutional Court in Dudley Lee v Minister of Correctional Services upheld Lee's, the applicant, claim for delictual damages against the Department of Correctional Services. This paper is not aimed at commenting on the merits of the courts' reasoning with regards to the common law test for factual causation, which constituted the main legal issue in casu. Instead it aims to highlight and explore, with reliance on the Dudley Lee case, how detainees' right to health may be at risk in temporary places of detention that generally attract no or limited attention. The case draws attention to a number of health pitfalls that a legal subject may lice as he traverses the criminal justice system. The Dudey case is a landmark decision, because it depicts the commo experiences of detainees in the South African detentin system. Moreover, it assists in drawing attention to the less obvious risks to detainees' health in temporary places of detention.

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Published by the University of Florida Press on behalf of the Association of Global South Studies.